What is the 'Group Of Seven - G-7'

The Group of Seven (G-7) is a forum of the world's seven most industrialized economies. The G-6 was formed in 1975 and consisted of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom; Canada was invited to join the group in 1976. G-7 officials meet to discuss international economic and monetary issues.

BREAKING DOWN 'Group Of Seven - G-7'

The G-7 meets on an annual basis in a rotating member country. The president of the G-7 rotates on an annual basis among the member nations. France hosted the first meeting in 1975, featuring the original G-6 nations. The first meeting with all G-7 nations was held in Puerto Rico in 1976, hosted by the United States.

Role of G-7

The G-7's major role is to discuss and work through world issues. The seven nations represent around 50% of the global economy. Through the years, the G-7 has been vocal about preventing the overall global economy from entering a recession.

The group has discussed financial crises, monetary systems and major world crises, such as oil shortages. Finance ministers from the membership countries often meet annually or more frequently to work to improve the economies of member countries and the world.

Expansion to G-8

In 1998, Russia was added to the G-7 as a full member, making the group of world leaders the G-8. Russia was added shortly after the Cold War in a symbolic but highly contested move. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was one G-7 member who pushed for Russia to be welcomed in to the group.

Russia made the G-7 into the G-8 from 1998 to 2014. In 2014, Russia was suspended from the group after the annexation of Crimea and tensions in Ukraine. The original formation of the G-6 was made up of the major non-communist powers. The inclusion of Russia was seen as a move to help the post-Soviet Union Russia have a say in world issues.

Diminishing Power and Role

The G-7 has been criticized for not including emerging markets or representing enough of the overall global economy. From time to time, the G-7 welcomes in guest nations that act as nonmembers. The European Union has participated fully in the G-7 since 1981 as a non-enumerated member.

The G-20, created in 1999, includes all the members of the G-7 plus 12 additional countries. The 20th representative is the European Union. The G-20 includes emerging markets, such as China, Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa. With the membership of emerging markets, the G-20 has a better firsthand look at global economic growth.

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